But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said they aren't open to any substantive changes in the law that easily passed in the Senate, essentially killing the chance of Republican changes beyond technical fixes to the law.
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Weeks after its vote , a local police union is going out of its way to re-iterate that it it does NOT support the NYSAFE Act
. In a January meeting, the Erie County Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association voted unanimously against the new gun control law.
There are several concerns, says PBA treasurer Greg Savage. "There are a lot of concerns about the way it was passed, without the legislators being able to review it, and get feedback from their constituents," says Savage. "We're very concerned about the way the governor kept the legislature in session late into the night. I think those who voted for it didn't know all the implications."
Savage says there is not a need for new laws. "We have a lot of laws on the books right now. In a lot of cases, they're not being enforced. Sometimes, criminals are not being prosecuted as they should be," explains Savage.
Could officers be endangered even more? "That's a possibility," notes Savage. "I think now they're perceived as they're coming to violate my rights, arrest me for something that wasn't illegal a month ago, so that's one part of our concerns."
Skelos said the Republicans will try to force substantive changes in an upcoming "technical cleanup" bill needed to fix errors in the legislation that was hastily passed without public hearings or review.
"I think they are going to be more than technical," Skelos told reporters of the changes. "I think we're going to look at the size of the clips, a number of other issues, protections within your home."
Gun owners and their advocates argued the industry doesn't make seven-round magazines, a measure that gives supporters bragging rights to the most restrictive law regarding bullet capacity. New York's law as passed Jan. 15, a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and before the Obama administration and other states made their proposals.
"We're looking at other changes," Skelos said. "But we also have to live within the reality of what the governor feels is appropriate or not. I believe the governor is going to be pretty firm about the seven bullets, unless it's in the home. And he's going to be firm on the so-called assault weapon" ban.
Cuomo has said he will support only "technical" corrections to his bill. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said through a spokesman Monday that he is not open to substantive changes.
"The bill passed by an overwhelming margin," Cuomo said in a Monday evening news conference. "I think it's one of the proudest acts this New York state Legislature has passed. I believe it will save lives."
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The law created a rift among New Yorkers and split Republican senators. Many upstate New Yorkers have been critical of the measure, which is strongly supported in New York City and its suburbs.
Most upstate Republican senators opposed the bill, while most Long Island Republicans supported it. A unified GOP could have blocked the bill in the Senate.
The "cleanup bill" is needed because of errors in the original legislation.
The errors include language that would make police officers' guns illegal, require written permission for police to go on school grounds with a loaded weapon and could stop the production of violent TV shows and movies in New York.
The "cleanup bill" is the result of the quick passage of the law negotiated in private that avoided a chance for New York gun owners and the National Rifle Association to mount strong opposition. Cuomo had ordered a "message of necessity," which was approved by the Senate and Assembly, to suspend the usual three days' public review required by the constitution of all bills.
Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate who sponsored the bill, she he's proud of the law and is open to technical changes. Under the partnership the Republicans and IDC use to rule the Senate, the Republicans could block the technical cleanup bill to force more substantive changes.
Two legal actions have begun that challenge the law on constitutional grounds.